How to Not Suck at Landing Pages, Part 1: Getting Started
Chances are good that if you have been poking around the digital marketing “self-help” section, you have heard a good bit about the importance of landing pages. While plenty of people sip a little too deeply from their own marketing Kool-Aid, overstating the importance of an effective landing page is pretty tough.
Done right, they can:
- Increase conversions in a highly appealing and easy-to-sift format
- Enhance any campaigns on social, display, email, PPC or even SEO
- Provide measurable success rates to improve your other site offerings
All of these benefits depend on you getting the landing page right, though, so let’s start with the basics of how to craft a landing page campaign and build your first one properly.
Step 1: Assess Your Goals
Any guide worth its salt includes this step, the proverbial “look before you leap” suggestion.
The reason to start with a good, hard introspective look at your goals is to ensure that you are not just blindly following advice or copying examples without regard to the “hows” or “whys” of creating a landing page in the first place. Every brand is unique and has unique offerings, so they may also have a corresponding unique take on landing pages.
Begin by deciding what actions you want site visitors to perform, and envision how a landing page campaign might enhance those conversion actions. Example goals include:
- Building an email subscriber list
- Getting people to download content materials
- Getting people to start a free trial for a service or product
- Getting people to sign up for a service
- Convincing people to accept a coupon or discounted service
Your landing page approach will vary based on how much commitment you expect out of your audience and how much money/time/effort they will or will not be spending. No matter what, always communicate the value of what you are offering strongly so that visitors are never confused about why they would want to opt in.
Step 2: Go On a Trial Run
With few exceptions, we get better at something the more we do it. This “level up” effect means that you should craft a few example landing pages to get a feel for the practice and avoid early mistakes.
Some tools to use include:
- Ucraft.me — Free first page
- Wishpond — Great mobile optimization and built-in A/B testing, which you’ll need!
- Instapage — Lightning fast and a great free trial option
- Unbounce — The most popular tool, and very professional-looking
- Leadpages — Incredibly powerful but also pricier than other options
Play around with the tools and emphasize creativity and diversity ahead of “getting it right” on your first try. You can then refine a true demo page to put to the test.
Step 3: Make Sure You Have All the Right Elements
We’ll cover the elements of a great landing in-depth in a later post, but for now make sure you have these five elements:
- A Great Hook: Lead in with your compelling offer and its most important benefits in a single phrase
- A Prominent CTA Button: Your call to action button should be easy to find and tempting to click. Make any form as simple as possible to complete.
- More Specific Benefits: Explain in-depth what you are offering and how it can improve the life of the
- Social Proof: Use real quotes from past customers and companies who enjoyed your product, which builds trust
- Build Trust: Use security seals to emphasize that no information will be shared without the user’s permission
Step 4: Test and Promote
Ideally, your landing page will be attached to a single offer type that gets broadcast on social, display, email, PPC and in SEO-optimized pages.
Use this traffic to A/B split test different variations of your landing page to find out what works best. We will cover this step in more detail in part II.
Step 5: Learn As You Go!
As long as you are not spending a whole heap of money creating your first landing pages, there’s really no way you can fail. Any mistakes are learning experiences to help you get better over time.
If you feel like you need help getting the training wheels off, you can consult EverSpark Interactive for our digital marketing expertise, including what makes a web page look great on any device. Take a look at our digital marketing services to learn more.